Cooperation with High Atlas Foundation
Since 2020, UWC RBC is cooperating with the High Atlas Foundation (HAF), an NGO in Morocco, as part of our “Climate Crisis Response Strategy“. HAF started more than 20 years ago with the aim of improving the living conditions of people in remote rural areas in the High Atlas mountains.
HAF is engaged in many activities, from running women’s empowerment programmes to providing clean water to villages. But their main activity is running a network of tree nurseries that distribute hundreds of thousands of fruit- and nut trees to farmers, schools and village communities every year.
This is a win-win-win strategy: For people, trees such as fig, carob, olive, argan and walnut add a significant additional source of income. For the local environment, trees help combat soil erosion, hold back rainwater and support biodiversity. For the global climate, they “soak up” CO2 from the atmosphere.
As part of our “Climate Crisis Response Strategy”, UWC RBC makes an annual contribution to HAF that depends on our climate footprint in that year. In 2021, we paid €14,400 for HAF to plant 19,200 trees which will hopefully “soak up” around 1,200 tonnes of CO2 over the next 30 years, roughly the amount we emitted in 2020/21.
However, we don’t just want to transfer money to HAF, we want to build a partnership between our organisations. In June 2021, three of our employees and a student visited HAF in Marrakesh, Morocco. They took the train and ferry to get there sustainably, travelling through France and Spain for two days. During the trip, the school delegation visited the tree nurseries in Imegdal and Tassa Ouirgane, both supported by RBC since 2019, and discussed future cooperation and projects: for example, a Summer Camp in Morocco, during which UWC students and young people from the High Atlas region engage in social and ecological questions practice of Ecosystem Restoration.